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10-30-2007, 08:42 PM   #1
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Anyone using their Pentax to shoot weddings/professionally?

Just wondered if there is anyone on this forum that uses his/her Pentax to shoot weddings or professionally (i.e, fashion/glamour, commercial, etc?). Just wanted to know your thoughts on how your Pentax stands against competitors (N*kon and C*anon).

I am coming over from N*kon and honestly so far I have become indecisive about moving to Pentax. I had my reasons to move over but I am wondering if I made the right choice.

I purchased a K10d recently.

10-31-2007, 01:21 AM   #2
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honestley i love my pentax to death. i do wish that they would come out with a slightley higher resolution camera with lower iso settings but for my small scale uses it works fine. i print 13x19 inch borderless prints with it and my clients are happy. since your moving from nikon im wondering if you have some good lenses that would be benificial to you in the biz. because the d300 and the d3 are out now and although they are quite a bit more expensive they do offer sharper edges and lower noise. much higher resolution. its your choice but i love my pentax . hope i helped
10-31-2007, 01:34 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Takman Quote
Just wondered if there is anyone on this forum that uses his/her Pentax to shoot weddings or professionally (i.e, fashion/glamour, commercial, etc?). Just wanted to know your thoughts on how your Pentax stands against competitors (N*kon and C*anon).

I am coming over from N*kon and honestly so far I have become indecisive about moving to Pentax. I had my reasons to move over but I am wondering if I made the right choice.

I purchased a K10d recently.
I understand that the Fujifilm Finepix S5 Pro is seen as one of the best options for shooting weddings.
Due to its extremely wide dynamic range. It is supposed to handle more shades of white.
One of my friends is using a S5 Pro for that.
The S5 body is based upon the Nikon D200 body and takes on Nikon lenses.

- Bert
10-31-2007, 02:02 AM   #4
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Lots of us in here do. Read lots of postings and see some of our comments. It is perhaps not the best choice for sports, but it is fine for portraits and fashion. Some of the best Pentax lenses hold their own with the best of Canon or Nikon and some - myself, for example - would argue that a few of them are better than any other brand at any price. My workhorse lenses are the 43mm for full-body, the 77mm for head-and-shoulders, and the 50-135mm for all around portrait and commercial work. These three lenses are almost perfectly matched in sharpness, bokeh and colour rendition for portrait photography.

10-31-2007, 04:25 AM   #5
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Not sure about here, but I know of a few people over at DPR who shoot weddings with their Pentax gear.
10-31-2007, 04:32 AM   #6
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I did not have much luck using my istD or K10D with the Sigma 500DG Super. Inconsistant results.
I tend to use my D2H and SB80DX if i do flash work, however, now that i have the 360 for the K10D i seem to be getting a lot better flash results than before with Pentax gear.

I have some indoor shooting to do this Sunday, and will be wusing both systems, so i'll see how that goes and let you know.

BTW the few shots i took at a friends wedding back in August with the 360 looked ok, only about 5% poor shots compared to 5% good shots with the Sigma.

Dave
10-31-2007, 08:24 AM   #7
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There are quite a number of wedding photographers here in the Philippines who use Pentax gear, and I'm sure there are even more in other countries. It'll boil down to personal preference, current investment in a system (like you, for example, if you have tons of good Nikon glass already, why switch?), and, of course, personal talent.

You can look up certain personas in this forum, as there are established professionals who drop in here from time to time to join in the discussion. Good folk, really. Of course, the biggest name being Benjamin Kanarek (benjikan here in the forums), a well-esteemed high fashion photographer who's sponsored by Pentax.

I'm sure there are other regular posters here who are professionals, but I cannot ascertain who they are as most people here are humble keep a low profile, blending in with the hobbyists and common folk like me. Marc (35mmfilm_user), I believe, is also a working pro using Pentax. Chris (codiac2006) works at a big photo store, but I also believe he does paid photography as well.

Guys, care to chip in some more forum members who are working pros using Pentax?

Me, I'm considering trying my hand at making money out of my photos. Not sure if I'll succeed, though, but I'll keep trying and will be using my Pentax equipment.

Like what you'll usually hear in this forums, the camera is just a tool. It's the photographer who gets paid. So, essentially, don't be put off by the brand and the camera model. It wasn't too long ago when photographers used 4 MP cameras and still got paid lots.
10-31-2007, 09:45 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Takman Quote
Just wondered if there is anyone on this forum that uses his/her Pentax to shoot weddings or professionally (i.e, fashion/glamour, commercial, etc?). Just wanted to know your thoughts on how your Pentax stands against competitors (N*kon and C*anon).

I am coming over from N*kon and honestly so far I have become indecisive about moving to Pentax. I had my reasons to move over but I am wondering if I made the right choice.

I purchased a K10d recently.
Yes, there are a number of wedding photographers here. I'm getting into this area myself and have gotten a lot of help from folks here with more experience in certain areas. I seem to recall that there was even some talk about starting a forum here just for wedding photographers. Not sure that's a good idea, as the problems of wedding photographers are not really specific to specific hardware brands.

Seems to me that, to shoot weddings, you need just a few key pieces of hardware. NOTE: I assume that pretty much every dslr on the market can produce really good photos under ideal conditions, so I don't bother saying that you want a camera that takes good photos.
  1. Your camera must be easy to use, because you have to switch settings in a hurry sometimes. K10D has great ergonomics and is perfect in this respect. I could say a lot about this but won't. But I mention it first because it's a big deal.
  2. Your camera must be reliable, as it's a VBT (Very Bad Thing) to have your camera fail on you in the middle of the wedding ceremony. K10D is very solid. NOTE that no camera is 100% reliable, so you always have to have a backup camera.
  3. You need a small selection of good, fast lenses to cover the range from, at least, moderate wide-angle to moderate telephoto, say, 18-100+. (I'm assuming the 1.5x crop factor here.) I recall one of the wedding photographers here telling me that he could shoot an entire wedding with the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 if he had to, and I find that plausible. There are several decent and very fast (f/1.7 or f/1.4) primes available for the K10D in this range; I find the Pentax AF 50mm f/1.4 very useful. But I know only a few people who actually shoot weddings using only primes and there's a good reason: you may want to jump from 18 to 50 to 100mm within the space of a few seconds. For example, you may be stuck in a corner, but want to get in tight on the bride's face, then immediately pull back to get the bride and groom and the minister. Now, especially if you want digitally-optimized, auto-focus lenses, the selection of lenses available for the K10D is simply not as great as the selection available to Nikon and Canon dslr owners. It's frustrating to visit Sigma's site and see these sweet lenses that are available only for Canon, Nikon and Sigma bodies. But there do seem to be enough good lenses available for Pentax in the range required for weddings. I'm happy with my key lenses: Sigma 10-20; Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 macro; Pentax AF 50 f/1.4; Pentax DA* 50-135 f/2.8. Would like that Sigma 70-200 f/2.8, which I think does have a Pentax mount.
  4. Even with those fast lenses, you'll be shooting in low-light situations, probably at high ISOs. There's good news and bad news here for K10D users. The good news is that the K10D's TAv mode is very nice: Open up that aperture, set the shutter speed as slow as you think you can get by with, and let the camera adjust the ISO to keep it as low as possible. The bad news is that the K10D is not an outstanding performer at higher ISOs. Now, I'm not sure whether that's really bad news. Most cameras seem to do a mediocre job at best at ISO 1600. The K10D's results are definitely usable -- indeed, I've taken some shots I'm quite pleased with at ISO 1600. You can use a camera with a smaller sensor and get a slight improvement, but lose resolution; or you can leave Pentax and buy a full-frame sensor (and move out of your house into a small apartment). There is also the problem of vertical-pattern noise (VPN). But overall, I think the K10D is fine here. I wish it were better, but I'm not convinced that the grass really is greener over on the other side.
  5. You will be doing a lot of flash photography at a wedding and you'll need reliable, good, flexible flash units. The Pentax AF 540 FGZ is generally very good, but I'm touchy on the subject of its reliability (having had a nearly brand new one break on me this year). It tilts and swivels which is great for bouncing the flash. But the Pentax K10D has a max normal sync speed of 180th sec, which I think is too slow in some situations. Some people complain that the 540 + K10D can't do normal TTL, but I've found P-TTL to produce good results, when I use the system properly.
There's more, of course, but those seem to be the key considerations as far as hardware goes in itself. There are however other considerations that may matter. Since most wedding photographers use Canon or Nikon equipment, practically everything you'll read about wedding photography will be talking about Canon or Nikon stuff. Occasionally this gets a bit frustrating, especially when the issue is important -- like technical details about flash photography.

I second-guess myself all the time, so I sympathize with your thoughts. I may switch to something else in the future, if a pile of cash falls into my lap. A lot of us like to say that the photographer matters more than the camera. It does not mean that the camera isn't important, but we like to emphasize the photographer's skill rather than the camera's capabilities, because there's simply no perfect system, at least not if you're not a millionaire. For me, it's (almost) all about the money. For the price of the Nikon I'd like to buy (D300), you could buy two Pentax K10Ds. And I'm not sure that switching to the D300 would really make any difference at all to the quality of my photos. If you can't take a great photo with a K10D, you can't take a great photo with anything.

Will

10-31-2007, 09:58 AM   #9
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The Canon 5D is the weadding photographers camera. Due it its very good ISO performance and resolution.

If I were to do wedding photography with Pentax I would get 2 K10D bodies w grips. 2 540 flashes. and the 2 DA* lenses. one lens and one flash per body, both bodies around my neck. no lens changes.

then Id could expand with small bag with some special use lenses. the fisheye zoom could be creatively used. also some low light lenses like fa 50 and fa 77.

Then for formal shots i would have some compact lightstands with me. 2 of them, and 2 compact white umbrellas with black removable cover. use 1 umbrella on stand for 1-2 people shots and both the umbrellas for group shot coverage. I could also consider a 3rd 540 as a back light there. the flashes can be triggered wirelessly although dont rely on that in even situations where other guests are flashing away with their compacts.

I think thats a resonable setup. you only need the 2 lenses at first, others can be added.

of course if the budget is tight then there are cheaper alternatives. But if I was going to get money from people and receive their trust in me capturing that one special day then i wouldnt skimp on my equipment.
10-31-2007, 10:38 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
I understand that the Fujifilm Finepix S5 Pro is seen as one of the best options for shooting weddings.
Due to its extremely wide dynamic range. It is supposed to handle more shades of white.
One of my friends is using a S5 Pro for that.
The S5 body is based upon the Nikon D200 body and takes on Nikon lenses.

- Bert
Agreed! It seems that it's a fine camera body, and I know a local pro who shoots weddings exlusively with the Fuji bodies. Beautiful images.

QuoteOriginally posted by vinzer Quote
There are quite a number of wedding photographers here in the Philippines who use Pentax gear, and I'm sure there are even more in other countries. It'll boil down to personal preference, current investment in a system (like you, for example, if you have tons of good Nikon glass already, why switch?), and, of course, personal talent.

You can look up certain personas in this forum, as there are established professionals who drop in here from time to time to join in the discussion. Good folk, really. Of course, the biggest name being Benjamin Kanarek (benjikan here in the forums), a well-esteemed high fashion photographer who's sponsored by Pentax.
Definitely Ben - he's a great person, and moved from Canon to Pentax in the last 6-8 months or so...

QuoteQuote:
I'm sure there are other regular posters here who are professionals, but I cannot ascertain who they are as most people here are humble keep a low profile, blending in with the hobbyists and common folk like me. Marc (35mmfilm_user), I believe, is also a working pro using Pentax.
Vinzer, thank you for the props! I've never been able to call myself anything but a photographer. I just stand behind my images and my work...
I think it's because I've seen people calling themselves "pros" out there that are neither professional in attitude nor in the image qality of their work (not anyone on this forum).

(To clarify: I've shot wedding receptions, but not the ceremony itself. I use two K10D bodies with two 540 flash guns + sto-fen diffusers. I enjoy them, but it takes up a lot of weekend time, which means I don't do them often! It can be a conflict at times. I'm part time, working on the full time aspect of my photography along several avenues. Several things prevent the change just yet... )

QuoteQuote:
Chris (codiac2006) works at a big photo store, but I also believe he does paid photography as well.

Guys, care to chip in some more forum members who are working pros using Pentax?
Correct - Chris definitely has the eye and talent, and he's quite good at indoor work with a flash! I see a bright future for him. (Chris, take a bow... )

There are other professionals that frequent the forum who are very talented, no question! I apologize for not remembering names on a moment's notice... sorry!

Cheers,
Marc
10-31-2007, 10:54 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
The Canon 5D is the weadding photographers camera. Due it its very good ISO performance and resolution.
Yeah, the 5D seems to be a nice tool. But it costs about $2200 for the body alone.


QuoteQuote:
If I were to do wedding photography with Pentax I would get 2 K10D bodies w grips. 2 540 flashes. and the 2 DA* lenses. one lens and one flash per body, both bodies around my neck. no lens changes.

then Id could expand with small bag with some special use lenses. the fisheye zoom could be creatively used. also some low light lenses like fa 50 and fa 77.
I shot a wedding last weekend with two bodies: K10D and *ist DS. The lack of shake reduction in the DS didn't matter as I never used a long lens on that camera, and the supposedly superior performance of the DS at high ISO also was not much of a factor -- I don't see a big difference between the results from the two cameras, at least not a difference that can't be credited to the lenses more than the bodies. Still, I very much wish I had two K10D bodies instead. I've practiced a lot with the two cameras together, but it really would be nice to use cameras that worked the same way.

During the ceremony, I had the Pentax DA* 50-135mm on the K10D, and generally used the Pentax FA 50m f/1.4 on the DS. Used the Sigma 10-20 for a shot of the entire church, but had it on the camera only briefly. I have the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 and its a nice lens -- similar, I expect, to the DA* 16-50 f/2.8 from Pentax. But I didn't need to go wide often during the ceremony, and the 50mm's extra two stops were more useful than the ability to go to, say, 25-30mm or wider.

For the formals and later at the reception, I put the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 on the K10D and it worked well.

Will
10-31-2007, 11:01 AM   #12
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I thought about recommending 1 k100d and 1 k10d due to iso performance. but as you say, and since the point of two bodies is not only backup but speed, its better to have two bodies of the same type.
10-31-2007, 05:24 PM   #13
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About the high ISO performance- I saw some pictures from my friend's wedding (very low-light indoors @ night) shot with a D200 and the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4, and they were just as noisy as my K10D at 1600. True, the Nikon flash system (i-TTL) is hard to beat but it's not difficult to get good results with the 360/540- but don't skimp and get the 360 for a main flash- the extra power of the 540 is well worth it. They both can be controlled wirelessly from the K10D or by each other.

My old boss used to shoot weddings with the *ist DS (don't know if she's swtiched, she has a D200 now). She has a D70 but the *ist consistantly gave better color results in the white dresses- the D70 has the tendancy to go blue when the the highlights get clipped (I worked at a photolab, I saw PLENTY of wedding shots). I dont' know if the K10D and D200 carry over those same characteristics- I quit before either of those became largely available.

If you know what you're doin, you can get great results with any system. Some just make it easier than others
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